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Determining how services are delivered can be a difficult area to examine, but it’s nevertheless important. Think about the other service providers you work with – whether they work with you over the phone, at your office, or in another fashion can greatly affect the quality of their service, right?
The same goes for your managed IT services. When you’re trying to determine who you want to work with, you should make sure their method of service delivery suits your needs.
There are generally only three ways that conventional managed IT services can be delivered:
Remote Monitoring Of Your Local Systems: This is a popular arrangement, in which your IT company would monitor your systems remotely. They install network monitoring software on-premise at your business and keep an eye on your systems that you host locally.
Their key benefit of this model is control. You maintain control over your data and systems, as they’re all kept under your roof. For some businesses, this is necessary due to strict compliance regulations.
Furthermore, as opposed to the cloud-based model we’ll examine further below, this model also insulates you from any issues or service outages affecting your IT company.
However, it cuts both ways – with only a remote monitoring solution set up, your IT company will only be able to do so much remotely. From time to time they will likely need to come on-site to address an issue, which will take more time.
Cloud-Based: The second option is a cloud-based model, in which all your systems, applications and data are stored offsite in a data center. You access all of it through an Internet connection, and the entire environment is managed and maintained by your IT company.
There are numerous benefits to this approach – your IT company has more control and greater capabilities, allowing them to address problems with more robust support solutions. Furthermore, all the software you use through the cloud can be maintained, patched and updated remotely, meaning no interruption to your business on-site. Also, you can access your data from anywhere with an Internet connection, granting you much greater convenience than in a model where you have local systems.
Of course, by hosting your systems in the cloud, you give your IT company greater control over them, which could be a data security risk, depending on the industry you work in. Furthermore, any outages affecting your service provider affect you as well – you’re not insulated as you would be with a local system.
Hybrid – The Best Of Both Worlds: Given the benefits and drawbacks to monitoring on-premises networks and applications remotely, and cloud-based infrastructure and application services, there are some managed IT service providers that utilize and offer both solutions for their clients, delivering the best combination of advantages.
You enjoy the benefits of local systems, while also having everything backed up through the cloud. Your IT company can deliver effective support, without putting you at risk of downtime during an outage.
That’s not something we can answer for you. You need to take stock of your needs, the standards you have to uphold, your budget, and other factors to figure out which is best for you.
However, if you’re unsure of how to evaluate your IT needs or the technical capabilities of your current systems, our team at Radius IT Solutions can help.